From CryptoParty
Jump to: navigation, search

Philadelphia CryptoParty is a chance to meet other people interested in cryptography and computer security. The event will be open to those wanting to learn, teach, or a little of both. There are no prerequisites - if you know absolutely nothing (or absolutely everything) about cryptography this is the event for you. All are welcome!

Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age. Privacy is not secrecy. A private matter is something one doesn't want the whole world to know, but a secret matter is something one doesn't want anybody to know. Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world. ~Cypherpunk Manifesto


Upcoming Events

It is our intention that the Philly CryptoParty be a recurring forum scheduled regularly.

Type: Meet & Greet @ 12th Street Music Festival
Time: September 22, 2012, 1-4 PM
Place: The Institute Bar / PhilaMOCA

This is just an informal meet-and-greet amongst enthusiast in an atmosphere where the taps are flowing and live music is right outside. Just look for the table with the CryptoParty logo on it inside the Institute Bar.

Type: Conference and Party
Time: October ?, 2012
Place: TBD

This will be our first major event, with notable speakers and sponsors, and is still in planning. It aims to be an informal conference where you can learn from speakers and attendees alike.

We are still considering a few locations for our first major event. To be contacted, for information please comment here or contact CryptoPartyPHL, Brian, Kenneth, Joanne, Tim, or Dustin on twitter.

Proposed Speakers and Sessions

If you would like to lead a session, or have an idea of something you would like to learn, please add it below.

Session: Occupy Tracking Speaker: Tim Libert

Activist websites have a special responsibility to secure the privacy and anonymity of their visitors. However, most activist websites today are divulging data about their visitors to corporations and law enforcement. This session will focus less on raw cryptography, and more on practical steps to take when securing a website. Will be based primarily on this work: OccupyTracking.

Session: Bitcoin

Speaker: Brian Cohen

A short overview and introduction to Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer digital currency invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. I will talk about what it is, how it works, the history of the idea, and about the economics of it.

Session: Tor Browser Bundle

Speaker: TBA (If no takers, Tim can do it)

From the Tor Website: Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.

This session will give a brief introduction to Tor and show how to download the software, verify the download has not been tampered with, and how to use it.

The CryptoParty isn't an extension of any org, entity, or agenda. We are all stocked up on canned heat and want to learn from each other.


No special equipment will be necessary, though bringing a laptop or other device is a good idea.

We also recommend you bring a 4 - 8 GB USB (for a portable Linux Operating System) flash drive and a minimum 700 MB CD-R for Hiren's Boot Disk)

If you wish download and bring your own OS .iso please do so - basic installation help will be available for most common builds and distributions. Portable Windows USB tutorial will employ the Hiren's Boot Disk, which contains a streamlined "mini-XP" with a comprehensive tool-bench of PC utilities.

For those running Mac OS's, I will personally take a self-directed crash course on Mac programming - at this stage I'm confident that someone with real competence will step forward to provide solid guidance.

I will have .iso's and working installs of both BackBox linux (penetration testing distribution) and the Hiren's Boot Disk - we'll try to have extra CDs and USB but definitely bring your own if you expect to leave with a working OS on disk.

Please sign up for the wiki and add your own contact information in this space if you'd like to get involved.


Concerned citizens in the Philadelphia Area are meeting to share ideas and experience in personal computing. This is not a seminar, we are some of us professional, others laymen, the format and location will be informal. This is not a "hacking course" or a "hackathon," although you may expect to learn the basic operation of some information security tools.


From CryptoParty article by Parker Higgins of the EFF

"...a set of global get-togethers where more experienced users can teach beginners how to use the commonly available tools that tap into the incredibly powerful technology of cryptography. I hope that a beginner walks away from a #CryptoParty with an understanding of not just PGP, OTR, and the like, but with an idea of why threat models are important, what attack vectors she ought to consider, and — most importantly — a network of people and resources she can contact for even more knowledge."

CryptoParty has become a global movement, and the notion is frankly extant truant. While we are often keenly aware of being eavesdropped-upon when surveillance technology is thrust upon us in select environments, the tremendous power and potentially catastrophic ubiquity of electronically transmitted communication remains a remote concern to most but unfortunate victims of such naivete. The words and images on your screen are not simply pixels-lights that appear/disappear/reappear in the LCD - when you browse the web - Amazon, for instance, you are not simply navigating to web page views, you are generating multiple documents, locally and remotely, some of which may be retained indefinitely.

The mushrooming of open-source software has made applications which help inoculate PC-use against machine-generated critical exposure available for free and accessible for use by novices.

Higgins notes in his article on the Stanford Cryptography class:

"It’s useful to gain a more complete understanding of the theoretical background, but for most it suffices simply to be literate. For everybody, but especially for people in high-risk situations — people who face threats from sophisticated, even state-level attackers — it’s important to know how to use the sophisticated tools that are available."

Privacy-enhancing platforms like Tor are available pre-installed and configured and require the user only to change his/her browser settings.

from [Tor was originally designed, implemented, and deployed as a third-generation onion routing project of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. It was originally developed with the U.S. Navy in mind, for the primary purpose of protecting government communications. Today, it is used every day for a wide variety of purposes by normal people, the military, journalists, law enforcement officers, activists, and many others.

From the Torproject Overview

Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. It also enables software developers to create new communication tools with built-in privacy features. Tor provides the foundation for a range of applications that allow organizations and individuals to share information...Journalists use Tor to communicate more safely with whistleblowers and dissidents...A branch of the U.S. Navy uses Tor for open source intelligence gathering, and one of its teams used Tor while deployed in the Middle East recently. Law enforcement uses Tor for visiting or surveilling web sites without leaving government IP addresses in their web logs, and for security during sting operations.

Additional Information

While the focus of CryptoParty is educational awareness in privacy-enhancing security measures such as PGP, it is our belief that the foremost requisite of safety is information. Philadelphia's CryptoParty will feature various penetration testing application and "how-tos" on using the internet to access information only obscured by discrete APIs.

We intend to operate as a static outreach resource to assist beginners with basic competence in information technology toward the end of a networked environment where private citizens' revelation of personal information is a matter of discrete, informed volition.

Getting Involved

See Also Philly Contacts

To be contacted, or for information, please comment on the contact page or send a tweet to CryptoPartyPHL, Brian, Kenneth, Joanne, Tim, or Dustin.

(There is a google form to send your contact information as well)

Personal tools